In which we come down to Virginia once again, drive through the outskirts of D.C., Tyson’s Corner, Arlington, the drive-through hellscape of Northern VA, arriving at last in a salt-encrusted vehicle with a missing door handle and sticky accelerator. This is where it all happened, they say. Downtown Yorktown. Williamsburg. Jamestown. Where the American virus first infected this continent, and spread, and now 45 presidents later, here we are. I blame Hamilton.
But America also gave me my wife, who is getting ready for graduation now while I tip-tap away at a table in Dunkin Donuts. She is trained up now, or as trained up as they say she needs to be to start working on boats. There will be much more on the job to be learned, but already now she’s deep into the mechanics of engines. Yesterday she was describing the difference between a four-stroke and a two-stroke engine and I’m lying beside her on the hotel bed thinking pretty sure all I need is one stroke and a nap.
Just kidding, I wasn’t thinking that, Poppa and the moms and brother E were in the room, but how often do you get to use a good stroke pun, and anyway I get to live with my wife again! Finally! Six months now the Coast Guard has been hammering away at her and the person who left my side in August is now completely different but somehow totally the same.
Gah, that’s lazy writing. What I mean to say is, I recognize the all of her but I don’t know if I’m missing something or not, about us, about the we. Like yesterday we were driving and she was talking and I was driving and she said aren’t you glad we didn’t end up not being able to stand each other being apart so soon after we got married, for so long? and I agreed that yes I was glad but I didn’t have a follow-up which made me realize I hadn’t been talking a whole helluva ton since I’d come running to her little red car as she pulled into the hotel parking lot, and so I started to realize that for six months now when I drive my car I drive my car and that’s it, there’s no other thing that happens, like music sure but I generally don’t talk when I listen to music, I don’t generally converse or otherwise socialize while listening to music. Even when the dog’s in the car he’s learned to just lie down and sleep until we get there because I don’t have anything to say to him except stop making that onliest noise that you can make right in my gaddamn ear already. So I’m wondering is it like this, or is it like this now.
It’s getting light out. I should get going back to the hotel, get my shower on, get my tie on, a shave and my shoes. Just kidding, I don’t shave. I guess I don’t wear ties, either, but I’m about to. I wonder who wants some coffee.